After a long drawn out stalemate between Governor Chris Sununu and the Republican controlled legislature, New Hampshire’s congressional map has finally been decided in court. The court has gone with a least-change map leaving the state with two districts that Joe Biden won by six and nine points, respectively. New Hampshire’s map being enacted also puts an end to the redistricting cycle, barring any court decisions that strike down already enacted maps. Since New Hampshire has finally finished the singular line needed for their new map, we should take a look at where both congressional races in the Granite State stand.
New Hampshire’s 1st District is currently held by incumbent democratic Congressman Chris Pappas. Chris Pappas was first elected to the open seat during the blue wave in 2018. After winning a primary that drew almost a dozen candidates with 42% of the vote, Pappas went on to defeat Republican nominee Eddie Edwards in the general election by a margin of 53.6%-45%. Chris Pappas then won reelection in 2020 by defeating GOP nominee Matt Mowers by a margin of 51.3%-46.2%. Pappas, however, now has arguably the toughest race of his short political career so far as he seeks reelection during a time where the political winds are blowing in favor of the Republican party. The GOP clearly sees this as a top flip opportunity and has acquired a large field eager to take on Pappas.
The Republican field has drawn over half a dozen candidates all fighting for the chance to take on Pappas in November. The most notable candidate is the 2020 nominee Matt Mowers, eager to take on Congressman Pappas in a rematch. Mowers has spent his time since the 2020 loss building up relationships and staying involved in the district as he laid groundwork for his 2022 run. Mowers has gotten many high-profile endorsements such as former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley. He also has led the field in fundraising which I will have listed below. Mowers is also joined in the primary by Gail Huff Brown, wife of former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown. She entered the race with many high profile connections, as one might expect being the wife of a former Senator, and has even acquired the endorsement from the National Border Patrol Council. The field has also attracted two young candidates, both in their mid twenties, State Representative Tim Baxter and former Elise Stefanik staffer Karoline Leavitt. Leavitt has gotten endorsements from her former boss, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, along with other conservative firebrand endorsements such as Congressman Madison Cawthorn. Rep. Baxter has also received many high-profile endorsements from conservative leaders such as Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Thomas Massie. A recent entry into the race is also former New Hampshire Executive Council member Russell Prescott who, while not getting an official endorsement, has received kind words of praise from Gov. Chris Sununu after announcing his run. Listed below are the current fundraising reports from all of these candidates.
- Chris Pappas (D): $2.1 million raised, $1.8 million COH
- Matt Mowers (R): $1.1 million raised, $756,000 COH
- Gail Huff Brown (R): $841,000 raised, $561,000 COH
- Karoline Leavitt (R): $921,000 raised, $586,000 COH
- Tim Baxter (R): $713,000 raised, $507,000 COH
- Russell Prescott (R): NA
New Hampshire’s 2nd district is currently represented by four term incumbent democratic Congresswoman Annie Kuster. Kuster originally won back in 2012 against incumbent Republican Congressman Charles Bass by a margin of 50.2%-45.4%. Her most recent win in 2020 saw her beat her Republican opponent by over 10 points. This district is a tough one for Republicans to flip, but with a red wave looming and a newly announced candidate in the race, some in the GOP are feeling more optimistic this go around. The mayor of Keene, NH George Hansel has recently announced his intention to run against Annie Kuster. Hansel is famed for being a Republican mayor who won reelection with over 90% of the vote in a town that is overwhelmingly Democratic. He is known for being a moderate Republican with positions that are at odds with traditional Republicans. However, this moderate image is a big reason for why many in the GOP feel that he is the best candidate to take on Annie Kuster. This was seen clearly when Governor Chris Sununu quickly endorsed Hansel on the very day he announced. However, Hansel will have to perform a delicate balancing act of appearing conservative enough to win his primary (which has attracted half a dozen other candidates) while also not poisoning himself for the general election. There are no financial reports for George Hansel yet as he only recently announced his candidacy but listed below are Annie Kuster’s most recent numbers.
- Annie Kuster (D): $2.1 million raised, $2.4 million COH
- George Hansel (R): NA
Elections Daily currently rates NH-01 as a Tossup and NH-02 as Likely Democratic. NH-01 will be one of the most closely watched races of the cycle as it’s outcome could very likely determine control of the House while NH-02 will be watched as a sign of just how big of a red wave this year will turn out to be.